When To Prune Hydrangea Without Affecting Blooms

Question From: K. Westrick - Grosse Pointe, Michigan, United States
Q: Hi Nancy, I have an Endless Summer, Big Daddy Hydrangea plant (now a bush). It is the most beautiful plant- flowers abundantly with large blooms. The problem I have is that it is huge and because of the large blooms, it is so heavy and the stalks start to fall. I usually have to stake them up for support. I am still enjoying the deep reddish color of countless blooms right now (I did cut off many faded blooms in the beginning of September, but with its massive production of blooms each summer, I still have many more). My question is, can I prune back the bush a bit now and still expect it to bloom next year, as it has done faithfully for 10 years? I do have a picture of it if you need me to send it. Thank you for any help you can give.

A: Karen, the answer is no. These hyrangeas set flower buds on old wood in fall, so if you prune them now or in spring you will cut off the flower buds. Best to wait until the blooms fade. Of course you can thin them if you choose. Cut back on any fertilizer. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy